A collection of performances by rhapsodes of Rhapsodize Audio that traces hope through the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe.
“Oh, Yearning Heart”: Tracing Hope through the Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe
Known predominantly for his short stories focused on the darker elements in humanity or even for contributing to the birth of the modern detective story, Edgar Allan Poe is rarely celebrated for his work as a poet. However, because of the innate succinctness poetry presents, we are able to examine the poet’s message about several different subjects in a relatively short period of time. In this rhapsody, we will address the concept of Hope, which is not perhaps something one readily connects with Mr. Poe.
In many of the twenty-four poems included in this collection, the word “hope” is directly included. In the remaining poems, it is quite easy to derive the speaker’s attitude towards it. Whether the speaker is a newly jilted lover, a man on his deathbed, or a detached observer, Hope in some capacity waits in the wings, revealing something about life in general and maybe even something about Mr. Poe himself. Poe’s volatile life is no secret, and one can only imagine that these events had some bearing on the poignant verses included here. We have included some old favorites and, perhaps, a few poems audiences may not be so familiar with.
Production Concept and Narration by Caprisha Page
Excerpts from Danse Macabre, by Camille Saint-Saens
Performed by the University of Chicago Orchestra
Conducted by Barbara Schubert